The 10 best Steam Deck plugins and how to install them

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Steam Deck guide

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The Steam Deck is a useful system for playing your games anywhere you want. The system has a plethora of tools for making this possible, but everyone knows that plugins can let you customize your experience. Steam Deck actually has a variety of addons that aid in its performance if you know where to look. Here are some of the best Steam Deck plugins currently available to users.

1. Decky Loader

Decky Loader is the premiere experience for downloading plugins on the Steam Deck. Most of the plugins mentioned in this guide have an easy installation process simply by installing this plugin first. Some even require this plugin.

Decky Loader is used to stylize menus, change system sounds, adjust your screen saturation, change additional system settings, and install and monitor additional plugins.

To install Decky Loader, download it from github via Desktop Mode on your Steam Deck. Run the installer, and either use your admin password or a temporary one to proceed. Choose between the latest release or pre-release version, and then return to Gaming Mode.

Related: Can you emulate Gamecube games on Steam Deck?

2. Decky Recorder

Decky Recorder is a plugin for players who want to keep a record of their gaming sessions. It allows you to stop and start a recording session of your current screen with audio from the Steam Deck. It is based on the Recapture-Plugin for the Crankshaft plugin manager.

Keep in mind that this plugin is still a work in progress. Recordings over 30 minutes long don’t save correctly, and starting a recording while docked and outputting to a 4k monitor will cause your deck to crash.

To install Decky Recorder, download it from Github via Desktop Mode. The easier method for installing it is by first installing Decky Loader and using its store. Simply press the Steam Deck menu button, open Decky Loader, and search for it in the store.

3. Decksettings

Decksettings is a nifty little tool that lets you browse for Steam Deck game settings to optimize their performance. It lists recommended settings for use on the Steam Deck, and supports sending notifications when you open a game that has reported settings.

This plugin will let you browse reports for any steam game in your library, and eventually will let you search for games outside your library. The developers also want to eventually let the app auto-detect the best settings for games you open.

To install Decksettings, first install Decky Loader and open up its store. Simply press the Steam Deck menu button, open Decky Loader and search for it in the store, then click install to add it to your plugins.

4. Audio Loader

If you want to be able to customize your audio sound effects on your Steam Deck then this is the plugin for you. Audio Loader lets you replace the Steam UI sounds with custom audio files to tailor what you hear to anything you want.

You can feed the plugin options by placing music or sound pack.json files in the /home/deck/homebrew/themes folder. The plugin provides packs via a Pack manager, but you can also manually add them to the folder, though the developers do not recommend this.

To install Audio Loader, download it from Github via Desktop Mode. The easier method for installing it is by first installing Decky Loader and using its store. Simply press the Steam Deck menu button, open Decky Loader, and search for it in the store.

5. How Long to Beat

How Long to Beat is a plugin that shows you the game lengths of games in your Steam Library. The time to beat the game appears above the play button of your games, and it lists different hours based on specific goals.

The plugin can even estimate how much longer your current game will take to conquer, and also lets you compare your completion times with other players. The addon lists categories for main story, main story plus extras, and completionist time durations.

To install How Long to Beat, download it from the How Long to Beat website. The easier method for installing it is by first installing Decky Loader and using its store. Simply press the Steam Deck menu button, open Decky Loader, and search for it in the store.

Related: How to install Google Chrome on Steam Deck

6. ProtonDB Badges

The ProtonDB Badges plugin gives the Steam Deck a compatibility rating from the ProtonDB website on each game in the Steam store. The rating system will tell you if the game is absolutely awful to certified by the official Steam Deck compatibility qualifications. It will also break down why each game gets the rating that it does, and alerts you to specific things to watch out for should you choose to play the game on your Steam Deck anyway.

To install ProtonDB Badges, you need to utilize the method for installing it by first installing Decky Loader and using its store. Simply press the Steam Deck menu button, open Decky Loader, and search for it in the store.

Related: The 10 best games to play on Steam Deck

7. CSS Loader

Have you ever looked at the Steam Deck’s UI and thought it could look prettier? CSS Loader is a plugin that will let you customize the look of the Steam Deck UI. You can utilize this addon to change fonts, color schemes, and a variety of other settings.

To install CSS Loader, download it from Github via Desktop Mode. The easier method for installing it is by first installing Decky Loader and using its store. Simply press the Steam Deck menu button, open Decky Loader, and search for it in the store. You can now install themes via the Manage theme options under the plugin’s menus.

8. DeckFAQs

GameFAQs might not be the definitive way to get game guides nowadays, but it is still a useful tool in its own right. DeckFAQs allows you to view game guides for both your Steam and non-Steam games from the GameFAQs website. It supports rich-text and plain-text guides, and is super useful when stuck in a game to solve that spot you have been stuck on for a while.

To install DeckFAQs, you need to utilize the method for installing it by first installing Decky Loader and using its store. Simply press the Steam Deck menu button, open Decky Loader, and search for it in the store.

9. Controller Tools

Controller Tools is a useful plugin that displays the connection type, current battery percentage, and charging status of your controllers connected to the Steam Deck. It supports almost every major controller, including PlayStation, Xbox, and even the Nintendo Switch Pro controller. it eventually will be able to change LEDs on supported controllers, turn off controllers remotely, and toggle controller vibration.

To install Controller Tools, download it from Github via Desktop Mode. The easier method for installing it is by first installing Decky Loader and using its store. Simply press the Steam Deck menu button, open Decky Loader, and search for it in the store.

10. SteamGridDB

SteamGridDB is a Steam Deck plugin that lets you change all the artwork of games in your Steam Library without going into Desktop Mode. Most games on Steam come with predefined pictures for their icons, picture, and banner. This addon adds a change artwork button to each game in the library, letting you search for different images to customize how each game looks.

To install SteamGridDB, you need to utilize the method for installing it by first installing Decky Loader and using its store. Simply press the Steam Deck menu button, open Decky Loader, and search for it in the store.